Motorists witness woman being punched on side of road
Bruce Highway motorists witnessed an alarming act of domestic violence in Central Queensland recently.
The assailant, a 46-year-old Innisfail man, pleaded guilty on May 5 in Rockhampton District Court to one count of breaching a domestic violence order.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Michelle Welch said the first witness was standing on the side of the road at Miriam Vale at 1.46pm on April 30 when a female victim yelled out of a passing motor vehicle after opening the passenger door, headed in a northerly direction, for the witness to call the police.
She said the car kept driving north and pulled over about 3.55pm, east of Gladstone, for unknown reasons.
Senior Constable Welch said the victim ran from the car to the back of the vehicle.
She said the defendant chased her.
Senior Constable Welch said two witnesses travelling in separate cars stopped to assist the victim.
She said the defendant caught the victim, punched her in the face and she raised her arms to defend herself.
She said the defendant put the victim in a headlock and dragging her back to the car.
Senior Constable Welch said a female witness, who was 20 metres away, honked her horn in the hopes it would stop the defendant.
She said the defendant continued dragging the victim and a child exited the vehicle, approached the defendant and victim and tried to stop the defendant.
Senior Constable Welch said the defendant continued to drag and punch the victim to the car, then pushed her into the passenger seat.
She said the defendant then grabbed the child, aged seven, and pushed him into the vehicle.
Senior Constable Welch said the defendant starred at witnesses as the victim could be seen mouthing the words "no, no, no" before the defendant drove off at speed.
Witnesses called police who immediately searched for the vehicle, located it parked at City Centre Plaza in Rockhampton at 6.03pm that day.
Senior Constable Welch said the defendant, victim and child walked out of the plaza and police approached them.
She said the victim had three distinguishable bruises on her face - around one eye, a bump and bruise on the left side of her chin and a bruise on the right side of her chin.
Senior Constable Welch said the victim claimed the bruises were from a work accident she had been in the day before, however, police did not believe the bruises matched such an incident.
She said the family, from Innisfail, had driven from Brisbane to Rockhampton on April 30.
Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said his client had been in a relationship with the victim for 15 years.
He said they were married and had a seven-year-old son.
Mr Robertson said the defendant worked in traffic control for 10 years and had previously worked as a butcher for 20 years.
Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale warned the defendant he was close to being sent to prison due to the seriousness of the offending, but due to his lack of criminal record, she put him on a 12-month probation order.
"There is a lot of publicity at the moment (around domestic violence) … and rightly so," she said.
"The community are concerned about people who are victims of domestic violence."
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
- DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811
- DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636
- 1800RESPECT national hotline: 1800 656 463
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